Dave Righetti

David Allan Righetti (born November 28, 1958) is an American professional baseball coach and former player. A left-handed pitcher, Righetti played in Major League Baseball from 1979 through 1995 for the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, and Chicago White Sox. He served as the pitching coach for the Giants from 2000-2017. His nickname is "Rags".

Righetti began his career as a starting pitcher, but the Yankees converted him into a relief pitcher, using him as their closer, in 1984. He won the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year Award in 1981. As a starter, he threw a no-hitter on July 4, 1983. As a closer, he was twice named the AL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year and pitched in two MLB All-Star Games. He was the first player in history to both pitch a no-hitter and also lead the league in saves in his career. Dennis Eckersley later duplicated the feat, as did Derek Lowe.

Dave Righetti
Dave Righetti (2002)
Righetti with the San Francisco Giants
Born: November 28, 1958 (age 60)
San Jose, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 16, 1979, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
September 18, 1995, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Win–loss record82–79
Earned run average3.46
As player

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Early life

Righetti was born in San Jose, California. His father, Leo, was a professional baseball player. His brother, Steve, is thirteen months older than Dave. Leo trained his sons to become baseball players. Dave and Steve starred for their Lincoln Glen Little League team, Letterman, with Dave playing in the outfield and Steve playing shortstop.[1]

Righetti attended Pioneer High School. Paddy Cottrell, a scout for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball, noticed Righetti and suggested he become a pitcher due to his throwing motion. As a senior, he was named to the All-League team.[2] Righetti enrolled in San Jose City College, where he continued his development as a pitcher on the school's baseball team.[1] He was named the junior college player of the year, beating out teammate Dave Stieb.

Playing career

Starting pitching career

At Cottrell's urging, the Rangers selected Righetti on January 11, 1977, in the first round (10th overall pick) of the amateur draft. The Rangers selected Steve in the sixth round, and told Dave that they would only sign Steve if he signed. Both Righetti brothers signed with the Rangers.[1] Dave made his professional debut that year in minor league baseball with the Asheville Tourists of the Class A Western Carolinas League, where he pitched to an 11–3 win–loss record.[3]

In 1978, Righetti pitched for the Tulsa Drillers of the Class AA Texas League. In a July game against the Midland RockHounds, Righetti recorded a league-record 21 strikeouts.[4] Jerry Walker, a scout for the New York Yankees, was present in the stands. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, while negotiating a trade with Rangers owner Brad Corbett that offseason, specifically waited until late in their negotiations to ask that Righetti be added to the trade.[1] On November 10, 1978, the Yankees acquired Righetti, along with Juan Beníquez, Mike Griffin, Greg Jemison, and Paul Mirabella, while the Rangers acquired Sparky Lyle, Domingo Ramos, Mike Heath, Larry McCall, Dave Rajsich, and cash. The Yankees introduced Righetti as "the next Ron Guidry".[5] Righetti was almost traded to the Minnesota Twins in January 1979; the Twins and Yankees were unable to complete a deal in which Righetti, Chris Chambliss, Juan Beníquez, and Dámaso García would have moved to Minnesota in exchange for Rod Carew.[6]

Dave Righetti - New York Yankees - 1981
Righetti in 1981

Righetti made his major league debut with the Yankees on September 16, 1979, wearing uniform number 56. In this game against the Detroit Tigers he pitched five innings, striking out three and allowing three hits, six walks, and three earned runs. After Righetti made his second start, Yankees' manager Billy Martin declared that Righetti "will win 20 games next season".[5] However, Righetti struggled with his control, and spent the 1980 season with the Columbus Clippers of the Class AAA International League, where he had a 6–10 win-loss record and a 4.63 ERA with 101 walks and 139 strikeouts in 142 innings.[7]

Though Righetti pitched well in spring training in 1981, the Yankees did not have room for him on their roster, so he began the season with Columbus. After he pitched to a 5–0 record and 1.00 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 45 innings, the Yankees recalled Righetti from Columbus in May 1981.[7][8] He was assigned uniform number 19. The Yankees reserved numbers ending in 9 for pitchers they viewed as having promise: Dick Tidrow wore 19 for the Yankees, while Catfish Hunter wore 29, Ron Davis wore 39, and Guidry wore 49.[9] Righetti pitched strongly as a starter for the Yankees, posting an 8–4 win-loss record in 15 games started, with a 2.06 earned run average (ERA) and 89 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched during the 1981 season.[5] Righetti won the American League's Rookie of the Year award, beating Rich Gedman and Bob Ojeda.[10] Righetti defeated the Milwaukee Brewers twice during the 1981 American League Division Series. The Yankees reached the World Series that year; however, he was knocked out of game three of the 1981 World Series early, which was won by the Los Angeles Dodgers.[8]

In 1982, Righetti pitched to an 8.53 ERA during spring training. Steinbrenner sought to demote Righetti to the minor leagues, but stated he "got outvoted then". Through June 1982, Righetti had pitched to a 5–5 win-loss record with a 4.23 ERA. Though his 77 strikeouts were fourth-best in the American League, his 62 walks were considered a problem. The Yankees demoted Righetti to the minor leagues, for what Steinbrenner termed a "​2 12-week intensive brushing up". Sammy Ellis, Righetti's pitching coach with Columbus, said that Righetti had been rushing his pitching motion, which was likely due to anxiety.[11] Working with Ellis, Righetti made four starts for the Clippers, recording 33 strikeouts in 26 innings, before he was recalled to New York. Righetti finished the 1982 season with 11 wins in 27 starts, with a 3.79 ERA and 162 strikeouts and 108 walks. His strikeouts were third-best in the AL, while his walks led the league.[5]

On July 4, 1983, Righetti threw a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. It was the first Yankee no-hitter since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, and the first by a Yankee left-hander since 1917. It was also the first time ever a no-hitter occurred during a Yankees-Red Sox rivalry game. Righetti recorded a swinging strikeout against Wade Boggs to end the game. Twenty-five years later, Righetti reminisced about the game:

My biggest worry, because I had a tendency to fall toward third base, was him (Boggs) tapping a ball between me and Mattingly and me trying to get to first base...I threw a lot of fastballs during the at bat, but the last slider I ended up throwing, he happened to miss it. Thank goodness.[12]

Relief pitching career

In 1984 Righetti was moved to the Yankees' bullpen to replace Rich Gossage, who signed with the San Diego Padres in the offseason, as their closer. Despite the move being due to the Yankees having an excess of starters, many criticized the decision, arguing that Righetti was more valuable pitching as a starter, where he would accrue more innings.

Entering his first game as a relief pitcher with the bases loaded, Righetti did not allow an inherited runner to score, retiring the final seven batters of the game.[13] He proved even more effective in relief, averaging 32 saves per season over the next seven years with the Yankees, and being named an All-Star in 1986 and 1987. On October 4, 1986, he saved both games of a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox, finishing the season with 46 saves, and breaking the major league record shared by Dan Quisenberry and Bruce Sutter. The record would stand until Bobby Thigpen saved 57 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1990.[14] Righetti retained the single-season record for left-handers until 1993, when Randy Myers saved 53 games for the Chicago Cubs; Righetti still owns the AL record for left-handers.

Righetti became a free agent after the 1987 season. Amid rumors that Righetti would sign a three-year contract worth $20 million with the Tokyo Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, Righetti's agent acknowledged that the Giants did make Righetti an offer, but stated that the value was considerably less than what was reported, and stated that Righetti would continue to pitch in MLB.[15] The contract offer was later estimated at $10 million. Righetti chose to re-sign with the Yankees, signing a three-year contract worth $4.5 million.[16]

Righetti struggled with the Yankees early in the 1988 season, blowing four consecutive save opportunities, resulting in boos from the Yankee Stadium crowds. He then recorded five saves in consecutive opportunities.[17]

Later career

Dave Righetti & Mark Gardner (8146873950)
Righetti and Mark Gardner during the 2012 World Series parade

Righetti became concerned with the direction the Yankees were taking, as they had traded away Rickey Henderson, Jack Clark, and Dave Winfield. After the 1990 season, Righetti signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants, receiving a four-year contract worth $10 million.[18] While with the Giants in 1991, he broke Lyle's major league record for left-handers of 238 career saves; Righetti's record would stand until 1994, when John Franco surpassed his eventual total of 252. Righetti saved only 24 games in 1991, and the following two years saw him ineffective in middle relief roles; his career as a closer was over. Righetti made a start on June 10, 1992, his first start since September 1983.[19]

Released by the Giants after the 1993 season, he crossed the Bay to sign as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics. After beginning 1994 with the Athletics, he was released, and signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays in May 1994,[20] playing for the Jays wearing number 24. Righetti had a 0–1 win-loss record and 6.75 ERA for the Blue Jays.[21]

After that season he was released by the Blue Jays,[21] and in spring 1995 he signed as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox, wearing number 45 with the team. On November 9, 1995, he was again granted free agency; but no team signed him, and Righetti retired to end his 16-year career, finishing with 252 saves, a 3.46 ERA, and a record of 82–79 in 718 games.

Coaching career

In 2000, Righetti became the pitching coach for the Giants. Under Righetti the Giants made it to 2002 World Series but they lost in 7 games to the Los Angeles Angels Despite uncertainty if he would return to the Giants for the 2007 season due to a managerial change, Righetti announced in early November 2007 that he would remain with the Giants in his present role.[22] He was the pitching coach for the pitching staff that included Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sánchez, and Brian Wilson that won the 2010, 2012, and 2014 World Series. An analysis by Fangraphs showed that Righetti has an uncanny knack for teaching pitchers to avoid giving up home runs.[23]

Righetti was removed from his role as pitching coach on October 21, 2017, moving into a front-office role with the Giants.[24]

Personal life

He and his wife had triplets (two daughters and one son), who were born in 1991; Righetti's sister-in-law served as a surrogate mother.[25]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Lieber, Jill (April 16, 1990). "The Relief Is Not So Sweet: To Be a New York Yankee Was Dave Righetti's Dream, But Life as a Pinstriped Reliever Has Been Harsh". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  2. ^ The Milwaukee Journal via Google News Archive Search
  3. ^ "Mercury News: Search Results". June 16, 1991.
  4. ^ Emery, Mark (March 23, 2015). "Righetti roped career-making strikeout gem: Tulsa lefty broke Texas League record by fanning 21 over nine innings". MiLB.com. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Gammons, Peter (February 13, 1983). "Dave Righetti hopes to be back on course". Reading (Pa.) Eagle. Retrieved February 14, 2017 – via Google News Archive.
  6. ^ United Press International (January 30, 1979). "Yankees, Twins still dickering". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved June 19, 2009 – via Google News Archive.
  7. ^ a b Katz, Michael (July 6, 1983). "Banished once, Righetti is secure as major leaguer". Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger. pp. 1D, 5D. Retrieved February 14, 2017 – via Google News Archive.
  8. ^ a b "Dave Righetti is AL Rookie of the Year". Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph. December 1, 1981. Retrieved February 14, 2017 – via Google News Archive.
  9. ^ Schulman, Henry (June 2, 2006). "Rookie really has Righetti's number / S.F. pitching coach gives up No. 19 to honor Frandsen's late brother, DJ". SFGate. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  10. ^ The Telegraph via Google News Archive Search
  11. ^ Amdur, Neil (July 19, 1982). "For Dave Righetti, an ordeal for the chosen". Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review. Retrieved February 14, 2017 – via Google News Archive.
  12. ^ Curry, Jack (June 27, 2008). "Twenty Five Years Later, Dave Righetti's No-Hitter". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "Righetti Sparkles in Reliever Debut". Portsmouth (Ohio) Daily Times. April 5, 1984. p. 11. Retrieved February 14, 2017 – via Google News Archive.
  14. ^ Martinez, Michael (September 5, 1990). "Baseball; Righetti Agent Sees Lengthy Talks Ahead". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  15. ^ Gainesville Sun via Google News Archive Search
  16. ^ Bock, Hal (December 24, 1987). "Righetti will stay with Yankees". Lewiston (Me.) Daily Sun. p. 17. Retrieved October 30, 2012 – via Google News Archive.
  17. ^ Geffner, Mike (May 29, 1988). "Dave Righetti having a long 1988 season with Yankees". Newburgh Beacon Evening News. Newburgh, N.Y. Retrieved February 14, 2017 – via Google News Archive.
  18. ^ Chass, Murray (February 24, 1991). "Baseball; Righetti Relishes Escape – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  19. ^ "BASEBALL; Reds Spoil Righetti's Start – New York Times". The New York Times. Nytimes.com. June 11, 1992. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  20. ^ "Blue Jays sign Dave Righetti". Toronto Star. May 14, 1994. p. E.1. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  21. ^ a b "SPORTS PEOPLE: BASEBALL; Blue Jays Release Righetti – New York Times". Nytimes.com. October 13, 1994. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  22. ^ Schulman, Henry (November 2, 2006). "Giants to bring back Righetti / New scout to focus on players from the Pacific Rim". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  23. ^ Wolfersberger, Jesse (March 8, 2011). "Dave Righetti: Lord of the HR/FB rate". Fangraphs.
  24. ^ "Giants reassign Dave Righetti from pitching coach to front-office role". ESPN.com. October 21, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  25. ^ "Sports People: BASEBALL; Righetti Is a Father – New York Times". Nytimes.com. July 21, 1991. Retrieved November 28, 2012.

External links

Preceded by
Nolan Ryan
No-hitter pitcher
July 4, 1983
Succeeded by
Bob Forsch
1979 New York Yankees season

The 1979 New York Yankees season was the 77th season for the franchise in New York and its 79th season overall. The season was marked by the death of their starting catcher, Thurman Munson, on August 2. The team finished with a record of 89-71, finishing fourth in the American League East, 13.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles, ending the Yankees' three-year domination of the AL East. New York was managed by Billy Martin, and Bob Lemon. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. With the end of the Munson period within this season, a new era was about to unfold as this season would prove to be the first time ever for the Yankees to broadcast their games on cable within New York City and surrounding areas, the first ever MLB team to do so, starting Opening Day that year, all Yankees games save for the nationally aired games were broadcast on the then 3-year old cable channel SportsChannel NY aside from the usual WPIX telecast for free to air television viewers in the New York area and nationwide via satellite and cable.

1981 American League Championship Series

The 1981 American League Championship Series was a best-of-five series between the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics.

1981 American League Division Series

The 1981 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1981 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 6, and ended on Sunday, October 11. The Division Series were created on August 6 in response to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which caused the cancellation of roughly one-third of the regular season between June 12 and August 9; by the time play was resumed, it was decided that the best approach was to have the first-half leaders automatically qualify for postseason play, and allow all the teams to begin the second half with a clean slate.

The first half and second-half champions in both the East and West divisions would meet in best-of-five series, with the winners advancing to the AL Championship Series (ALCS). If the same team won both halves, a wild card team—the second-place team, based on overall record, in the division—would qualify for the postseason, but this proved unnecessary in both leagues. There were no plans to continue the format in later seasons, although the Division Series resumed in 1995 after both major leagues realigned into three divisions. The teams in the 1981 ALDS were:

East Division: New York Yankees (first-half champion, 34–22) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (second-half champion, 31–22): Yankees win series, 3–2.

West Division: Oakland Athletics (first-half champion, 37–23) vs. Kansas City Royals (second-half champion, 30–23): Athletics win series, 3–0.The second-half champions played the first two games at home, with the first-half champions potentially hosting the last three; the first-half champions all posted better records in their half of the season than the second-half champions did.

The Royals became the first (and as of 2018, only) team to reach the MLB postseason with a .500 or worse record. Kansas City recovered to win the second half in the AL West following a 20-30 first half, giving them a 50-53 overall mark.

The Yankees and Athletics went on to meet in the AL Championship Series. The Yankees became the American League champion, and lost to the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1981 World Series.

1981 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 1981 season was the 79th season for the Yankees. In the ALCS, the Yankees swept the Oakland Athletics for their only pennant of the 1980s. However, they lost in the World Series in 6 games to the Los Angeles Dodgers. New York was managed by Gene Michael and Bob Lemon. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 57th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 15, 1986, at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, the home of the Houston Astros of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 3-2 and ended a streak where the NL won 13 of the last 14 games. Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens was named the Most Valuable Player.

1986 Major League Baseball season

The 1986 Major League Baseball season saw the New York Mets win their second World Series title, their first since 1969.

1986 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 1986 season was the 84th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 90-72, finishing in second-place, 5.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Lou Piniella. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1988 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 1988 season was the 86th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 85-76, finishing in fifth place, 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Lou Piniella and Billy Martin, with the latter managing the team for the fifth and final time. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1991 San Francisco Giants season

The 1991 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 109th season in Major League Baseball, their 34th season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 32nd at Candlestick Park. The team finished in fourth place in the National League West with a 75-87 record, 19 games behind the Atlanta Braves.

1994 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 1994 season was the team's 27th in Oakland, California. It was also the 94th season in franchise history. The team finished second in the American League West with a record of 51–63.

The Athletics' 1994 campaign ranks among the most unusual in franchise history. A disastrous 1993 campaign, attributable mainly to inept pitching, had tempered expectations in Oakland; while several established stars (namely Dennis Eckersley, Bob Welch, Terry Steinbach, Mark McGwire, and a recently re-signed Rickey Henderson) remained with the team in 1994, questions about the starting rotation, bullpen, and infield kept expectations low.

The Athletics belied these low expectations with a 7–5 start. The team's pitching staff continued to hemorrhage runs (allowing 79 in 12 games); the staff was bailed out, however, by their red-hot offense (which scored 93 runs over the same span). On April 17 (the day of Oakland's seventh win), the A's were 1.5 games ahead of the second-place California Angels.

The Athletics' offense soon cooled down, however. This drop in production, combined with continued pitching woes, set the stage for a monumental collapse. Between April 19 and May 29, Oakland lost 31 games in 37 tries; at the end of this span, their record stood at 13–36. The A's, then firmly in last place, trailed the division-leading Angels (who also had a sub-.500 record) by nine games. Oakland continued to lose ground over the following two weeks; at their absolute nadir, the Athletics' 19–43 record trailed the division-leading Rangers (who had since overtaken the Angels) by 12.5 games.

The A's, instead, launched themselves back into contention with a turnaround. Over their next 22 games, the Athletics went 19–3; this surge raised their record to 38–46. Oakland's much-maligned pitching staff powered the resurgence; over the 22-game span, Athletics pitchers allowed 3.27 runs per game (while pitching six shutouts). The rest of the division struggled over the same span; as such, Oakland's 38th victory allowed it to pull within three games of the first-place Rangers. The A's cooled down in subsequent weeks; poor play from the rest of the division, however, allowed them to gain further ground. The team finished with a 51–63 record; despite being 12 games under .500, the A's were only one game behind the first-place Rangers. All four of the American League West's teams finished the strike-shortened season with losing records. This is the only such instance in MLB history.

The 1994 Players' Strike ended the season (and the A's postseason hopes) entirely. While the Rangers would win their first-ever division title in 1996, the A's would have to wait until 2000 to return to the postseason.

1995 Chicago White Sox season

The 1995 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 96th season. They finished with a record 68-76, good enough for 3rd place in the American League Central, 32 games behind the 1st place Cleveland Indians.

2001 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2001 followed the system in use since 1995. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected two: Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield. The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected two people from multiple classified ballots: Bill Mazeroski and Hilton Smith.

Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York, were held August 5 with Commissioner Bud Selig presiding.

Brian Denman

Brian John Denman (born February 12, 1956 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played briefly for the Boston Red Sox during the 1982 season. Listed at 6' 4", 205 lb., Denman batted and threw right-handed. A 1978 first-round draft pick, he was signed by the Boston team out of the University of Minnesota.

Denman was a highly touted prospect in the Red Sox organization. From 1978 through 1982, he went 51-22 with 428 strikeouts and a 2.69 earned run average in 115 starts at three different minor league levels. He joined the big team in August 1982, and posted a 3-4 record with nine strikeouts and a 4.78 ERA in nine starts, including two complete games and a six-hit, 5-0 shutout over Dave Righetti and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium (on October 2).

Between the minors and major league action, Denman worked 806 innings. From 1983 to 1984, he divided his playing time between Triple-A Pawtucket and Double-A New Britain, combining for a 15-17 mark with a 5.29 ERA in 45 appearances. Signed by the Detroit Tigers before the 1985 season, he pitched two years of minor league ball for Triple-A Nashville.

Domingo Ramos

Domingo Antonio Ramos (born March 9, 1958), is a former professional baseball player who was an infielder in Major League Baseball from 1978-1990. In 1982 with the Seattle Mariners, he filled in at all four infield positions, never appearing in more than 75 games. Ramos was primarily a glove man, and hit over .200 just twice, .283 in 1983 and .311 in 1987, in 103 at-bats,

Ramos earned his first career hit on May 23, 1980. On June 26, 1982 he recorded his first career RBI. His first career home run came on an April 17, 1983 in a 7-4 loss against the Oakland Athletics. His first career stolen base came 2 days later, in a 6-2 loss at the Minnesota Twins. His first career 4-hit game came on September 8, 1987 in a 7-0 win over the Cleveland Indians.

On November 10, 1978 he was traded by New York Yankees with Dave Rajsich, Larry McCall, Sparky Lyle, Mike Heath and Cash to Texas Rangers for Greg Jemison, Paul Mirabella, Mike Griffin, Juan Beniquez and Dave Righetti, considered the top lefty prospect in the minors‚ who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors in 1981.

Frank Messer

Wallace Frank Messer (August 8, 1925 – November 13, 2001) was an American sportscaster that was best known for his 18 seasons announcing New York Yankees baseball games, and as the recognizable emcee voice of various Yankee Stadium festivities during a three decade span.

Leo Righetti

Leo Charles Righetti (March 4, 1925 – February 19, 1998) was an American professional baseball player. He played in minor league baseball from 1944 through 1957. His son, Dave Righetti, played in Major League Baseball.

Mike Heath

Michael Thomas Heath (born February 5, 1955) is an American former professional baseball catcher. He played fourteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the New York Yankees (1978), Oakland Athletics (1979–1985), St. Louis Cardinals (1986), Detroit Tigers (1986–1990), and Atlanta Braves (1991).

While Heath played most of his games as a catcher, he started his professional baseball career as a shortstop and played every position except pitcher during his major league career. He played 1,083 games at catcher, 142 games in right field, 79 games in left field, 39 games as a DH, 38 games at third base, four games each at first base and shortstop, and one game each at second base and center field.

Drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 1973 Major League Baseball draft, Heath made his major league debut with the New York Yankees on June 3, 1978 at the age of 23. He hit .228 in 33 games with the 1978 Yankees and appeared in one game of the 1978 World Series.

On November 10, 1978, Heath went to the Oakland A's in a ten-player trade that sent Dave Righetti to the Yankees. Heath got substantial playing time in seven seasons with the A's. Heath hit .333 for the A's in the 1981 American League Championship Series.

While with the A's, Heath caught Mike Warren's no-hitter on September 29, 1983.Heath was known for his strong throwing arm. In 1989, playing with the Detroit Tigers, Heath led the AL's catchers with 66 assists and 10 double plays.

Heath singled in his last plate appearance vs. the Cincinnati Reds in July 1991.


Righetti is an Italian language surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alex Righetti (born 1977), Italian former basketball player

Amanda Righetti (born 1983), American actress and film producer

Benjamin Righetti (born 1982), Swiss musician

Caryl Righetti (born 1984), Swiss footballer

Dave Righetti (born 1958), American baseball coach and former player, son of Leo Righetti

Francesco Righetti, also known in Spanish as Francisco Righetti (1835–1917), Swiss architect

Geltrude Righetti (1793–1862), Italian opera singer

Joe Righetti (born 1947), former American football player

John Righetti, president and spokesman of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society

Leo Righetti (1925–1998), American baseball player, father of Dave Righetti

Mario Righetti (born c. 1590), Italian painter

Mattia Righetti (born 1980), Italian rower

Oscar Righetti (born 1948), retired Italian footballer

Oscar Righetti (born 1960), Canadian Union President/United Steelworkers of America/Sherwin Williams

Ubaldo Righetti (born 1963), Italian footballer

Rolaids Relief Man Award

The Rolaids Relief Man Award was an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award given from 1976 to 2012 to the top relief pitchers of the regular season, one in the American League (AL) and one in the National League (NL). Relief pitchers are the pitchers who enter the game after the starting pitcher is removed. The award was sponsored by Rolaids, whose slogan was "R-O-L-A-I-D-S spells relief." Because the first closers were nicknamed "firemen", a reference to "putting out the fire" of another team's rally, the trophy was a gold-plated firefighter's helmet. Unlike other awards, such as the Cy Young Award or the MLB Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, the Relief Man was based on statistical performance, rather than votes. Each save was worth three points; each win was worth two points; and each loss was worth negative two points. Beginning with the 1987 MLB season, negative two points were given for blown saves. In the 2000 MLB season, the term "tough save", which was worth an additional point, was introduced by Rolaids. A "tough save" happened when a relief pitcher entered the game already having the potential tying run on base, and got the save. The player with the highest point total won the award.The inaugural award winners were Bill Campbell (AL) and Rawly Eastwick (NL); Campbell also won in the following season. Dan Quisenberry and Mariano Rivera each won the AL award five times, while Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter won the award four times each. Lee Smith won the award on three occasions; Campbell, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Righetti, John Franco, Éric Gagné, Randy Myers, Trevor Hoffman, Francisco Rodríguez, Heath Bell, and José Valverde each won the award twice. Sutter (NL 1979), Fingers (AL 1981), Steve Bedrosian (NL 1987), Mark Davis (NL 1989), Eckersley (AL 1992), and Éric Gagné (NL 2003) won the Relief Man and the Cy Young Award in the same season; Fingers and Eckersley won the AL MVP as well, in 1981 and 1992 respectively. Todd Worrell won both the Relief Man and the MLB Rookie of the Year Award in the 1986 MLB season. Rivera and Joe Nathan were the only relief pitchers to have tied in points for the award, and both were awarded in 2009. Goose Gossage, Fingers, Eckersley, Hoffman, Rivera, Smith, John Smoltz and Sutter were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Craig Kimbrel (NL) and Jim Johnson (AL) were the final award winners in 2012. Sanofi acquired Rolaids from Johnson & Johnson unit McNeil Consumer Healthcare in 2013, but the award was not continued as a part of its marketing strategy.


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